Matthew 6:1-6,16-18 “Wash Your Face” 02-21-2010

6:1 "Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 "So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 3 But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 5 "And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 6 But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

6:16 "And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (MT 6:1-6,16-20: NRSV)

practicing your piety, without being seen

give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you

pray, do not so that they may be seen by others.

fast, do not look dismal,

19 Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Don’t make worship about you.. its about God.

Don’t make spiritual growth about your strength

Don’t make Christian living about your success

Matt Redman _ The Heart of Worship

Verse 1: When the music fades, All is stripped away, And I simply come, Longing just to bring, Something that’s of worth

That will bless your heart I’ll bring You more than a song, For a song in itself Is not what You have required, You search much deeper within Through the way things appear, You’re looking into my heart I’m coming back to the heart of worship, And it’s all about You, It’s all about You, Jesus, I’m sorry, Lord, for the thing I’ve made it When it’s all about You. It’s all about You, Jesus

If you heart is in Christ, there will be your reward, treasure, and prize.

Wesley is big fan of piety.. practices of moving our relationship toward perfection/wholeness

We may not be perfect in this lifetime, but we press on to make it our prize

We practice actions of what we know in our head, that our heart is called to do, In an effort to train our heart and head to move toward God, more often.

The Piety will not save us, but it is our practice toward claiming/living the salvation God gives us…

SO WHAT: Lenten practices of giving up sins/distraction or taking on spiritual disciplines—these are our practicing what we will be doing for eternity, as made possible fully by the grace, power, and love of God through Jesus Christ, empowered by God Holy Spirit.

So practice well.. as an Olympian would practice

Give even though no one will ever know or see it or claim it

Pray because you trust it’s the power of listening and speaking with God

Fast, don’t let it show that you are giving up sin – let is be seen that you are a child of God – period.


God of wilderness and water, your Son was baptized and tempted as we are.
Guide us through this season, that we may not avoid struggle,
but open ourselves to blessing, through the cleansing depths of repentance
and the heaven-rending words of the Spirit. Amen.

Artist of souls, you sculpted a people for yourself out of the rocks of wilderness and fasting.
Help us as we take up your invitation to prayer and simplicity, that the discipline of these forty days
may sharpen our hunger for the feast of your holy friendship, and whet our thirst for the living water you offer
through Jesus Christ. Amen.

God of the covenant, in the glory of the cross your Son embraced the power of death and broke its hold over your people.
In this time of repentance, draw all people to yourself, that we who confess Jesus as Lord may put aside the deeds of death
and accept the life of your kingdom. Amen.

God of the living, through baptism we pass from the shadow of death to the light of the resurrection.
Remain with us and give us hope that, rejoicing in the gift of the Spirit who gives life to our mortal flesh,
we may be clothed with the garment of immortality, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Beloved friends, in this season of repentance and healing, we accept God’s invitation to be ever mindful of the needs of others,
offering our prayers on behalf of God’s community in the church and the world.

Fill us with your strength to resist the seductions of our foolish desires and the tempter’s vain delights that we may walk in obedience and righteousness, rejoicing in you with an upright heart. Amen.

God of deliverance and freedom, you taught the people of Israel to acknowledge that all things come from your bountiful hand.
Deepen our faith so that we may resist temptation and, in the midst of trial, proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord, now and for ever. Amen.

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